In normal times, when classes are in session, the Baker bells form a familiar fabric of sound at Dartmouth, their songs and chimes ringing out regularly across campus. But, of course, these are not normal times. A recent addition to the bell schedule aims to show gratitude for Dartmouth workers who are coming to campus each day, medical professionals, and other essential employees who continue to serve the community during the pandemic.
Every day at 7 p.m., the bells in Dartmouth Library’s Baker-Berry Library bell tower will peal for two minutes. The bells are programmed, from within the tower or remotely, by students in the Masters Program in Digital Musics. By ringing them, Dartmouth joins people and institutions across the world in using sound to acknowledge those among us who are taking the biggest risks.
“We so greatly appreciate the Dartmouth staff members who come to campus every day to perform essential duties, as well as the health care professionals on the front lines combating the virus and its effect on the Upper Valley,” says Sue Mehrer, dean of libraries. “The ringing of the bells every day at 7 p.m. is our way of saying thank you.”
The details differ—from tolling church bells to songs belted out of open windows to tributes shouted from city stoops—but the feeling behind them is the same.
“It is a privilege to be able to help echo the sentiment of gratefulness that we all feel for the folks on the front lines,” says one of the Dartmouth bell ringers.
For the latest information on Dartmouth’s response to the pandemic visit the COVID-19 website.
Aimee Minbiole can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.